Earliest closing ever for Frisco Nordic Center | VailDaily.com

Earliest closing ever for Frisco Nordic Center

Kim Marquis
Summit Daily/Reid Williams Frisco Nordic Center manager Rob Weeks boxes up rental gear while Tom Frey hangs up ski poles for the season. The cross country center closed this week, after relentless warm weather melted away trails.

Eight days of 50-degree temperatures forced the Frisco Nordic Center to close Saturday, ending skinny skiing at the Peninsula Recreation Area for the season.

The closing was the earliest ever at the center by 10 days, center manager Rob Weeks said.

“It got so warm last week that the ground heated up and we couldn’t hold snow on the trails any longer,” Weeks said. “All the snow in the world wouldn’t help us at this point.”

Weeks added that scant snow throughout the season created a thin base to begin with. Under sunny skies, the base melted fast.

Frisco season pass holders can use their passes at the Breckenridge Nordic Center through the end of the season. Operators in Breckenridge are struggling with conditions there, but Weeks said the hope is to keep trails open for two more weeks at the center on Ski Hill Road.

Gene Dayton, concessionaire of the Frisco and two Breckenridge centers, is pushing snow from the woods and along trail edges onto trails with a snowcat to maintain conditions in Breckenridge. The machine can move 16-foot swaths of snow in one sweep. “Gene used the same technique here in Frisco last weekend so we could hold the Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer event on Saturday,” Weeks said.

The Frisco Nordic Center had an average start this season with a Dec. 22 opening. New snowmaking equipment helped the opening, but the center is looking to gain approval for additional snowmaking to extend operations, Weeks said.

“We only blew one to two acres around the lodge this year. We’d like to expand that to at least a 3-kilometer loop,” Weeks said.

Despite its early closing, the center’s skier numbers were up this season by about 15 percent in both January and February. Weeks attributed increased business to less-than-stellar conditions at the county’s four downhill resorts. “The Nordic centers are an alternative when the scene is not so good at the alpine areas,” he said.

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